It does not happen often, but it always leaves me a little sad when it happens. You open what promises to be a nice bottle of wine and then you realise that something has gone terribly wrong. Today it was a 2008 Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) from Keller - it should have been a nice and jolly food companion, perhaps creamy with hazelnut, and just pleasant to drink. What came out of the bottle is still causing pain to my palate.
It started with a smell of smoke - not unpleasant, actually quite tempting and unusual. Lots of bubbles in the glass and the wine not as clear as it could have been. And then a bitter taste of smoke, burned wood, sharp, almost acidic bad feet and nothing pleasant about it. Most wines I have come across that had cork did have something pleasant, some hint of character below the nasty taste (often wet cardboard). Here: nothing. It is like something very bad had creped into the bottle and killed the wine, destroyed every memory of it.
There was only this one bottle and now I might never know. It is a shame.
If you want to know more about corked wine and other wine faults, try these two sites: